October 12, 2018
By Matthew Courchene, PGATOUR.COM
- Marc Leishman has a 20.9 percent chance to win according to the model. (Stanley Chou/Getty Images)
Through 36 holes at the CIMB Classic, there are three players who have emerged as the clear favorites: Marc Leishman, Gary Woodland, and Paul Casey together hold over 50 percent of the win probability. Here are the top 10 win probabilities heading into the weekend:
Leishman and Woodland lead at 14-under par, with our model giving a slight edge to Leishman due to his slightly better long-term historical performance. Paul Casey follows close behind at 13-under par, and, as the second-highest rated player by our model this week, has a good chance this weekend.
As was mentioned in yesterday’s article, Justin Thomas is by far the class of this field according to our model. Consequently, despite being 5 strokes back in a tie for 15th, Thomas still has the fourth-highest win probability at 6.5 percent.
The round of the day Friday belonged to Gary Woodland, who fired an 11-under par 61. Here is Woodland’s card, with his strokes-gained on each hole indicated:
It was Woodland’s back nine (his first of the day) that was especially impressive: Woodland gained strokes on the field on each of his first nine holes. In total, Woodland gained 8.44 strokes over the field on Friday. To put that into context, since the start of 2014 season there have been about 90,000 rounds played in stroke-play PGA TOUR events; there have only been 73 rounds in which a player gained more than 8.44 strokes over the field.
NOTE: These reports are based off the live predictive model run by @DataGolf. The model provides live “Make Cut”, “Top 20”, “Top 5”, and “Win” probabilities every 5 minutes from the opening tee shot to the final putt of every PGA TOUR event. Briefly, the model takes account of the current form of each golfer as well as the difficulty of their remaining holes, and probabilities are calculated from 10K simulations. To follow live finish probabilities throughout the remainder of the CIMB Classic, or to see how each golfer’s probabilities have evolved from the start of the event to the current time, click here for the model’s home page.